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There's more than one way to say Halloween: Samhain, All Hallows Eve, Feast of the Dead.

Oct. 31 is actually the Celtic New Year's Eve. The Celts believed the wall between the living and dead came down on this night. Dearly departed relatives and other spirits would reappear for a visit. People would leave bits of food out as a "treat" so they wouldn't later be "tricked" by mischievous or evil ghosts. The Christian perspective of this alternative New Year's eve is, of course, quite different from the pagan tradition.


America's version of Halloween is only about 100 years old. The tradition was brought over by Irish immigrants in the late 1800s. Did you know the jack-o'-lantern is purely American? Pumpkins were not grown in Europe, which used hollowed out turnips instead. Take this quiz to learn more.

And remember: Keep the porch light on during All Hallows Eve. The dead need to see where the candy is, too.


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